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Maintaining Peace Is Medvedev's Priority On Intl Arena - Poll

MOSCOW. April 16 (Interfax) - Friendly and peaceful relations with all countries, and the avoidance of military conflicts will be seen by Russian citizens as one of the next president's greatest foreign policy achievements.

Twelve percent of respondents polled recently gave such a mandate to President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, VTSIOM pollster told Interfax, citing figures from a recent poll in 153 localities in 46 regions, territories and republics of Russia.

Ten percent of those surveyed said they would like Russia to evolve into a strong, influential and respected state, and another 5% said they would like former Soviet republics to unite and good neighborly relations established between them, according to the poll.

Russia's membership of various international organizations is seen by some respondents as one of Medvedev's future foreign policy priorities: WTO (1%), the European Union (1%) and NATO (about 1%). One percent of respondents said NATO's activities must be restricted.

The respondents' attitude to the United States varied, with about 1% welcoming friendly relations and 1% saying a more assertive policy was needed.

Two-thirds of those polled (64%) were undecided about Russia's foreign policy goals for the coming years, according to VTSIOM.

Regarding social issues, 17% of those surveyed said work to improve citizens' well being and to overcome poverty should be given priority, and 12% said that pensions should be increased and that pensioners should be offered a descent living.